Best Places to Live

Asheville, NC

Population: 92,870
LIV
SCORE
708
iStockPhoto/SeanPavonePhoto

Asheville is known as both the world’s first Foodtopian Society and “Beer City USA,” boasting more breweries per capita than any other U.S. city. There are plenty of iconic destinations to explore around the city, including the Biltmore Estate, Blue Ridge Parkway and numerous quirky, welcoming neighborhoods, each with their own unique vibe. Even more, Asheville offers residents the perfect combination of small-town charm and big city amenities, making it the ideal place to start a business or find a job. 

Top Industries and Employers: Social services, education, healthcare and manufacturing all shape Asheville’s economy.

Best Coffee Shop: Odd’s Cafe 

Best Local Beer/Brewery: Asheville is a beer lover’s paradise brewing some of the country’s most beloved suds. Some of our favorites are New Belgium Brewing Company, Catawba Brewing Company and Hi-Wire Brewing Company

Must-Have Meal: Any of the melt-in-your-mouth biscuit options from Biscuit Head.

Best Co-Working Space: Center for Craft is conveniently located downtown and includes a mix of public and private co-working spaces in addition to a small gallery space, reading and coffee lounges and a kitchenette. 

Best Meetup Spot (When Meeting Up Is a Thing Again): Grab a socially-distanced cocktail and take in sweeping views of the city at The Montford

Creative Hub: Take a walk around the River Arts District and enjoy the area’s many galleries and even take classes. 

Favorite Weekend Activity: Explore the great outdoors at Pisgah National Forest. Home to hundreds of miles of hiking trails, mile-high mountain tops and whitewater rivers, the forest is only ten minutes from the city center. 

Free Way to Have Fun: Get lost exploring the Asheville Botanical Gardens, which features more than 600 plant species native to the Southern Appalachian region. 

Local Dream Job: Tasting room manager at one of the 60 breweries in the region, naturally.

Read More:
8 Reasons to Move to Asheville, NC
Moving to North Carolina? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
Don't Want to Give Up Big-City Life? Check Out These 8 Up-and-Coming Small Cities Close to Major Metros

- Cara Sanders

"This is the ultimate playground with a wide diversity of outdoor adventures. Asheville serves as a basecamp for exploration with more than 800,000 acres of pristine wilderness, mountain ecosystems and nearby waterfalls, along with ziplines, whitewater, outstanding hiking and mountain biking and the most colorful fall foliage display in the nation."

Landis Taylor
Explore Asheville

Asheville, NC Ranking Data

Civic
55
Demographics
37
Economy
51
Education
70
Health
63
Housing
70
Infrastructure
63